GoPhoto Blog

Posts Tagged ‘save photos’

Let’s back up…

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Our friends over at Mosaic Archive, a digital asset archive system for serious photographers, wrote this post about his great-grandmother's trip to Asia. It was such a great post (with some amazing old photography) that we had to share!


Last fall, I wrote a post showing some photos that my great-grandmother took on her trips to Asia in the late 1950s: Digital Asset Management In Action With Mama's Photos

This post seemed to grab a lot of people. The photos were pretty darn good. But personally, I think it was something greater that made fellow photographers remember this post.

As serious photographers, we cherish our photos the minute we make them. We have backup systems, add metadata, catalog the images using Lightroom or Aperture, and use online photo storage services so that we can find, use and protect our images.

We do this for immediate benefit (find them now to share on Facebook) and for long term benefits (so I can find my photos 1 month, 1 year or 100 years from now). This is what Digital Asset Management is all about.

A woman ahead of her time, my great-grandmother decided to travel the world. As a widowed school teacher, she wasn't one to sit still. She didn’t just go to Yellowstone and Yosemite, she visited Thailand, Tibet, China, Iran, Greece, Napal, Cambodia, and Japan.

Mama India 1959

The photos were passed down to my mother. My mother used a great service called Go Photo for slide scanning. Our family has also used GoPhoto for video to dvd conversion. These images have now been shared on Facebook for the entire family to enjoy.


Scanning How To

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

When folks start thinking about taking on a photo scanning project, one of the first things they look into is a scanning how to.

As we get geared up for Spring Cleaning, remember that you are mightier than the dusty pile of old photos, slides, negatives and VHS tapes taking up space at the back of the entry hall closet. Even slide scanning is possible with the use of the right equipment, and a good allotment of extra time.

(Of course, the easiest way to get your negatives, slides and photos to digital is to send them to a good picture scanning service like GoPhoto, but some people just really like to do things themselves. Hey, we understand.)

Here are some tips if you're a DIYer who's going to get those old memories safely digitized this spring:

1. Cleanliness is next to all things goodliness. Be sure to clean the glass (no streaks!) and remove dust, lint, hair and any other noise that might transfer onto the image. The same goes for the asset itself - make sure those slides and such are dust-free! Rubber gloves for you and compressed air can to blow off your assets will be a great help in this project.

2. Even if you're scanning black-and-white photos, you should choose the color setting on your scanner. Somehow, the scans seem to turn out better.

3. Resolution settings are what determine the quality of your scan. For archival scans, you'll want to use a 600dpi setting. In general, you probably don't want to scan photos at less than 300 dpi.

4. Your hi-res scans will take up a fair amount of space, so you'll want to back them up on an external drive, a cloud-based storage system, or even an old-school DVD. Make backups of your backups, and store one set somewhere that's not in your home - a safety deposit box is a good spot for your external drive.

Happy scanning!

Where there’s smoke…

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

When I was in college, I learned a variety of things. One of the things I learned inadvertently is how to keep your photos safe in the event of an emergency.

I learned this, regrettably, after I watched what seemed to be my Uncle’s house burning down on CNN. Los Angeles was on fire (again – the 1990’s saw a rather incendiary L.A.), and all of a sudden I recognized the neighborhood. Yikes.

After calling family and determining that yes, it was his house and yes, everyone was all right (pets included), and after the house was re-built a year later and the dust had settled and been swept up and everyone had moved back into a newly built home, my Aunt gave me a great piece of advice. It was: if your house is about to burn up and you’re running out the door, grab:

1. The pets

2. The photographs

3. The dirty laundry hamper (these are the clothes you wear the most)

At the time, of course, there was no Internet, replete with photo album storage options. There were also no digital cameras (heck, CD’s were still new) and, therefore, no way to scan old photos or convert photos to digital in any way. So to save photos in the event of an emergency, there was only one option: your own two hands. And, thusly, being one to listen to my elders, I dutifully placed all my photo albums into boxes for easy transport in the event of fire, flood, earthquake, hurricane, tornado, alien invasion or the Rapture. Thing is, photos are reeeeeeally heavy. I had all my albums in 3 boxes which sat, untouched, moving bulkily with me all over the Bay Area until I finally had my photos scanned last month.

As Hurricane Irene ripped through the East Coast last weekend, I couldn’t help but hope that folks sprinting out the door to higher ground had somehow preserved their memories by having either scanned their photos & slides, or by going old-school and having everything at-the-ready to toss (um… lug) into a car and escape.

We at GoPhoto are privileged to help people recapture and share their memories – and that’s the fun and meaningful part of the job. What we don’t often focus on, though, is that we’re ensuring the preservation of these memories in the event that Something Goes Horribly Wrong.

So if you’ve been wondering whether it’s a good time to scan your old photos to digital (and slides and negatives), I guess the answer is: yeah, it’s always a good time. Prevention, after all, is kinder than cure. Converting your photographic history to digital is just a really good way to make sure that future generations can take part in your history.

Our best wishes go out to everyone affected by Hurricane Irene. Be well.

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